Wilkes-Barre Chamber Spotlight holds Women’s Entrepreneurial Series

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber held the Women’s Entrepreneurial Series on Wednesday.

Wilkes-Barre Connect and Penn State Wilkes-Barre sponsored the event, which was held in the THINK Center. The event was part of the Wilkes-Barre Connect’s Spotlight series.

Dr. Dale Jones, Chancellor of Penn State Wilkes-Barre, opened the night by recognizing the importance of the series.

“Spotlight is our version of TedTalk, featuring an entrepreneur from outside of the area focused on inspiring our students and local businesses,” said Jones.

Featured speaker was Kim Kaupe, co-founder of the Superfan Company. Kaupe was previously on Forbe’s 30 under 30 list, Advertising’s 40 under 40, and Inc’s 35 under 35 list.

Kaupe’s marketing company, Superfan Company, was started eight years ago.

After introducing herself, Kaupe spoke about the importance of internships and connections.

“Your GPA does not matter, your test scores do not matter,” she said. “For me, my internships were imperative. It truly is about who you know and the resources that you are connected to. “

“Where can you learn more, that is imperative,” she explained. “If I could go back in time to college, it would be to utilize my resources more effectively, because those networking skills are invaluable, and something you should absolutely take advantage of as much as possible.”

After graduating from the University of Florida with a business degree, Kaupe moved to work for Conde Nast in New York City.

“I thought of myself as the Chief Solution Officer,” she said. “I was going to solve any problem that came my way.  Big problems, small problems, anything that came in front of me I was going to solve it.”

After telling a story about walking her boss’ dog in order to decrease her boss’ stress, Kaupe asked the audience to think of problems in their life.

“My question to you is: What problems are you not solving?” she asked. “I challenge you to take on those problems. No one has ever said we want less solution.”

Kaupe continued her speech by discussing more tips for entrepreneurs, including educating onceself as much as possible.

“Before your idea can take off, you have to make sure people want your idea.”

Kaupe described how she kept a full-time job while also beginning her company at the same time. When her company gained enough tracition, she left her full-time job.

“We hesitated six, seven, eight, nine times, before we realized that there is never the right time to quit your job or to go into entrepreneurship because it’s really scary.”

Kaupe recommended asking one’s self, “What’s the worse that could happen?” before jumping into a big decision.

“As long as I was able to stomach the final outcome, go for it. If you can’t stomach the final outcome, do your best to prepare. Always be prepared for the worst case.”

Other women entrepreneurs visited the event via video.

Michelle Lehman, founder of Rae Sleeves, discussed how her invention solves common everyday women’s problems

Rae Sleeves are tights-like material to be worn under sleeveless tops in order to help women with upper arm insecurity.

Lehman, who went to Wilkes University for her undergraduate studies, spoke about her journey to starting her business.

“After studying in Dublin, Ireland, for my senior year, I came back with a crazy idea to start a fashion line. One year later, Rae Sleeves is my entire world.”

Other speakers include Zubeen Saeed, President of Building Blocks Learning Center; Natalie Lynn, owner of Counterpart Kombucha; and Lisa Urbanski, president of Brighter Journeys.

The WBC Spotlight series is a quarterly event dedicated to being an opportunity for industry leaders in NEPA to meet and discuss potential partnerships.

The entire event was livestreamed on the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce Youtube, and is avaliable for viewing at any time under the name ‘W/B/C Spotlight – Women’s Entrepreneurial Series Live!’